Organization Studies

  • The PhD program in Organization Studies (ORGS) is designed to train students for careers in scholarly research. A major strength of the program is its emphasis on both qualitative and quantitative approaches in research, encouraging multiple perspectives.

    Two distinguishing features of the doctoral program in Organization Studies are its broad interdisciplinary training and its flexibility. Students are able to shape the training around their own research interests once they have completed the core requirements, and are encouraged to undertake interdisciplinary research drawing on the faculty resources within the Schulich School and the broader York community.

Specialization Details by Category

Career Opportunities

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  • Graduates typically pursue careers in academic or research institutions. Both current PhD students and graduates of the program are currently making research contributions in diverse areas such as business ethics, technology, team dynamics, sustainability and non-profit organizations.

    Placement of Recent Graduates

    Sean Buchanan University of Manitoba
    Madeline Toubiana University of Alberta
    Luciana Turchick Hakak University of Fraser Valley
    Golchehreh Sohrab University of Ontario Institute of Technology
    Kevin McKague Cape University, Shannon School of Business
    Ajnesh Prasad University of New South Wales, Australian School of Business
    Wesley Helms Brock University

Study Options

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Student admission is restricted to full-time study exclusively for the first four years. It is not recommended to be working outside of the PhD program during your studies. Students must be able to participate in the PhD program in Toronto.

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Specialization Requirements

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The PhD program in Organization Studies is an individualized, research oriented program of study that requires the student to complete core and elective courses in Organizational Behavior and Theory, research methods, and a minor discipline of the candidate’s choice. The program consists of four stages in sequence: coursework, comprehensive examinations, dissertation proposal, and dissertation defense.


Year 1


Year 2: Fall Term



*Note: Meso Organizational Behaviour is strongly recommended as an elective which may be considered towards a student’s minor or major area or study; however, students can make a case for exemption from this course based on their unique interests and program requirements.

Minor Courses

Minor courses are graduate-level courses in the student’s minor discipline, approved by the PhD coordinator.

Year 2: Winter Term

ORGS Elective

ORGS elective courses consist of an independent course of study designed to meet the individual interests of the student, supervised by a faculty member in the area. Students may opt to take SB/PLCY 7020 3.00 Strategic Management Seminar II as one of their ORGS electives. Students are advised to research courses in other Faculties and Universities.

Minor Courses (see above)

Comprehensive Exam

Students will be required to take a comprehensive exam by the fall of their third year in the program, following completion of their course requirements. Students will schedule this either in June at the completion of their second year or in October at the start of their third year. The comprehensive exam is a written exam consisting of two parts. Part I tests students’ knowledge of theory, ability to conceptualize and ability to extend or offer novel insights into current theory. Part II is a research methods exam.

Dissertation Proposal and Defense

After completion of their comprehensive exams, students are required to have a supervisor recommended to the PhD Program Director for approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies no later than the end of their 5th term of study (Students will not be able to register in the 7th term of study unless a supervisor has been approved). A Supervisory Committee must be recommended by the PhD Program Director to the Dean of Graduate Studies no later than the end of the 8th term of study (Students will not be able to register in the 10th term of study unless a Supervisory Committee has been approved).

A formal proposal that outlines their topic and research plan must be written. The dissertation is produced under the guidance of the Dissertation Supervisory Committee, and examined by the Dissertation Examining Committee, under guidelines established by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.


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Student Clubs

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